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The Critical Calling

Author: Richard A. McCormick
Publisher: The Stationery Office
ISBN: 9781589010833
Size: 16.36 MB
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When Richard A. McCormick's The Critical Calling was first published, Andrew M. Greeley commented that "in years to come scholars will look back on Father McCormick's work and say, 'This was a man who knew what he was talking about!'" In this reissue, with a new foreword by Lisa Sowle Cahill, both first-time readers and those opening the pages for a return visit with an honored friend will find Greeley's characterization remains valid. Father McCormick begins The Critical Calling with his personal affirmation of the work of Vatican II: "I believe the Council was a work of the Spirit--desperately needed, divinely inspired, devotedly and doggedly carried through." Yet, he stresses this was no uncritical endorsement of everything the Council did and said. Part One includes a discussion of fundamental moral theology that looks at the relationship between the church hierarchy and individual moral decision making and several chapters addressing issues precipitated by actions involving Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. Part Two focuses on practical and pastoral questions that touch on contemporary concerns ranging from abortion to AIDS, divorce, homosexuality, and teenage sexuality. Cahill suggests that "those who lived through the tumultuous 1960s and '70s" as well as "those who came to maturity after the Council" will find this book to be an accurate and evocative reflection of the passions that imbued all those early debates and a helpful explanation why those passions ran so high. All readers will benefit from the wise insights into the controversies of that era and the more recent struggles, challenges, and debates that confront today's church.

United States Welfare Policy

Author: Thomas J. Massaro, SJ
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589014800
Size: 32.51 MB
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The Welfare Reform Act of 1996 drastically changed the delivery of social services in the United States for the first time in sixty years. More than a decade later, according to Catholic social ethicist Thomas Massaro, a disturbing gap exists between the laws we have enacted as a nation and the moral concerns we profess as a people. Massaro contends that ethicists too often focus on strictly theoretical concerns rather than engaging concrete social and political issues, while public policy experts are uncomfortable drawing ethical judgments about legislation. United States Welfare Policy takes a fresh approach to the topic by using Catholic social teaching as a lens through which to view contemporary American welfare policies, citing the tradition's emphasis on serving the needy—including a preferential option for the poor—and the common good. Massaro maintains that the most important outcome of welfare policy is not the cost-effectiveness of programs, but the well-being of individual families. The concluding analysis of this thoughtful study applies Catholic ethical concerns to specific aspects of welfare reform, including the funding mechanisms for the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, work participation requirements affecting the bond between mothers and children, eligibility rules, the intrusion of family caps into reproductive decisions, and the imposition of disproportionate burdens upon particular demographic groups. Massaro offers possible alternatives in each case and, as the fight over reauthorization of the welfare act continues, he calls on Catholic churches and clergy and laity to take action and advocate publicly for a more ethical approach to welfare reform.

Catholic Moral Theology In The United States

Author: Charles E. Curran
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1589012917
Size: 19.95 MB
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In this magisterial volume Charles E. Curran surveys the historical development of Catholic moral theology in the United States from its 19th century roots to the present day. He begins by tracing the development of pre-Vatican II moral theology that, with the exception of social ethics, had the limited purpose of training future confessors to know what actions are sinful and the degree of sinfulness. Curran then explores and illuminates the post-Vatican II era with chapters on the effect of the Council on the scope and substance of moral theology, the impact of Humanae vitae, Pope Paul VI's encyclical condemning artificial contraception, fundamental moral theology, sexuality and marriage, bioethics, and social ethics. Curran's perspective is unique: For nearly 50 years, he has been a major influence on the development of the field and has witnessed first-hand the dramatic increase in the number and diversity of moral theologians in the academy and the Church. No one is more qualified to write this first and only comprehensive history of Catholic moral theology in the United States.

The Church And Secularity

Author: Robert Gascoigne
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1589017250
Size: 16.67 MB
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Western liberal societies are characterized by two stories: a positive story of freedom of conscience and the recognition of community and human rights, and a negative story of unrestrained freedom that leads to self-centeredness, vacuity, and the destructive compromise of human values. Can the Catholic Church play a more meaningful role in assisting liberal societies in telling their better story? Australian ethicist Robert Gascoigne thinks it can. In The Church and Secularity he considers the meaning of secularity as a shared space for all citizens and asks how the Church can contribute to a sensitivity to—and respect for—human dignity and human rights. Drawing on Augustine’s City of God and Vatican II’s Gaudium et spes, Gascoigne interprets the meaning of freedom in liberal societies through the lens of Augustine’s “two loves,” the love of God and neighbor and the love of self, and reveals how the two are connected to our contemporary experience. The Church and Secularity argues that the Church can serve liberal societies in a positive way and that its own social identity, rooted in Eucharistic communities, must be bound up with the struggle for human rights and resistance to the commodification of the human in all its forms.

Loyal Dissent

Author: Charles E. Curran
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589013636
Size: 47.26 MB
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Loyal Dissent is the candid and inspiring story of a Catholic priest and theologian who, despite being stripped of his right to teach as a Catholic theologian by the Vatican, remains committed to the Catholic Church. Over a nearly fifty-year career, Charles E. Curran has distinguished himself as the most well-known and the most controversial Catholic moral theologian in the United States. On occasion, he has disagreed with official church teachings on subjects such as contraception, homosexuality, divorce, abortion, moral norms, and the role played by the hierarchical teaching office in moral matters. Throughout, however, Curran has remained a committed Catholic, a priest working for the reform of a pilgrim church. His positions, he insists, are always in accord with the best understanding of Catholic theology and always dedicated to the good of the church. In 1986, years of clashes with church authorities finally culminated in a decision by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed by then-Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, that Curran was neither suitable nor eligible to be a professor of Catholic theology. As a result of that Vatican condemnation, he was fired from his teaching position at Catholic University of America and, since then, no Catholic university has been willing to hire him. Yet Curran continues to defend the possibility of legitimate dissent from those teachings of the Catholic faith—not core or central to it—that are outside the realm of infallibility. In word and deed, he has worked in support of more academic freedom in Catholic higher education and for a structural change in the church that would increase the role of the Catholic community—from local churches and parishes to all the baptized people of God. In this poignant and passionate memoir, Curran recounts his remarkable story from his early years as a compliant, pre-Vatican II Catholic through decades of teaching and writing and a transformation that has brought him today to be recognized as a leader of progressive Catholicism throughout the world.

Creative Conformity

Author: Elizabeth M. Bucar
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1589017528
Size: 15.87 MB
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Much feminist scholarship has viewed Catholicism and Shi'i Islam as two religious traditions that, historically, have greeted feminist claims with skepticism or outright hostility. Creative Conformity demonstrates how certain liberal secular assumptions about these religious traditions are only partly correct and, more importantly, misleading. In this highly original study, Elizabeth Bucar compares the feminist politics of eleven US Catholic and Iranian Shi'i women and explores how these women contest and affirm clerical mandates in order to expand their roles within their religious communities and national politics. Using scriptural analysis and personal interviews, Creative Conformity demonstrates how women contribute to the production of ethical knowledge within both religious communities in order to expand what counts as feminist action, and to explain how religious authority creates an unintended diversity of moral belief and action. Bucar finds that the practices of Catholic and Shi‘a women are not only determined by but also contribute to the ethical and political landscape in their respective religious communities. She challenges the orthodoxies of liberal feminist politics and, ultimately, strengthens feminism as a scholarly endeavor.

Feminist Ethics And Natural Law

Author: Cristina L. H. Traina
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589018464
Size: 34.35 MB
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Heated debates over such issues as abortion, contraception, ordination, and Church hierarchy suggest that feminist and natural law ethics are diametrically opposed. Cristina L.H. Traina now reexamines both Roman Catholic natural law tradition and Anglo-American feminist ethics and reconciles the two positions by showing how some of their aims and assumptions complement one another. After carefully scrutinizing Aquinas’s moral theology, she analyzes trends in both contemporary feminist ethics, theological as well as secular, and twentieth-century Roman Catholic moral theology. Although feminist ethics reject many of the methods and conclusions of the scholastic and revisionist natural law schools, Traina shows that a truly Thomistic natural law ethic nonetheless provides a much-needed holistic foundation for contemporary feminist ethics. On the other hand, she offers new perspectives on the writings of Josef Fuchs, Richard McCormick, and Gustavo Gutierrez, arguing that their failure to catch the full spirit of Thomas’s moral vision is due to inadequate attention to feminist critical methods. This highly original book proposes an innovative union of two supposedly antagonistic schools of thought, a new feminist natural law that would yield more comprehensive moral analysis than either existing tradition alone. This is a provocative book not only for students of moral theology but also for feminists who may object to the very notion of natural law ethics, suggesting how each might find insight in an unlikely place.

Human Genome Research And The Challenge Of Contingent Future Persons

Author: Jan Cristian Heller
Publisher: Fordham University Press
ISBN:
Size: 14.34 MB
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Human Genome Research and the Challenge of Contingent Future Persons is an investigation into how the Human Genome Project is likely to affect future generations. It explores the implications these effects hold for evaluating genetic research, particularly from a theological perspective. Examining the economic, political, and philosophical issues underlying genetic research, Heller finds that some future people may bear an inordinate share of certain social costs stemming from the Project's biomedical applications. Further, the existence, numbers, and identities of those people will be contingent on decisions made based on this research. Heller investigates the theological implications of this problem, arriving at an "impersonal theocentric" approach to value in this detailed, thoughtful, and original contribution to the literature.